4 Subtle Signs You're Smarter Than Most

If any of these 4 habits and characteristics sound like you, you may be smarter than you imagined.

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Taylor Tobin1.84k

Do you secretly suspect that you may be brilliant, but haven’t found a way to prove it? Alternatively, are you feeling particularly dumb today, and need someone to slap you with some self-confidence?

While these 4 indicators can’t serve as total proof of intelligence, studies indicate that they’re far more common among those with higher IQs. So if any of these signs seem familiar to you, go ahead and indulge in a bit of smugness. You may very well deserve it. 

1. If your workspace looks like an active disaster zone, you could have a high IQ.

Your nearby coworkers, your spouse, and/or your roommates may complain about your tendency to sweep through personal and shared spaces like a whirlwind of messiness. But as it turns out, a disorganized desk could be evidence of your heightened intelligence.

A recent piece in The Independent referenced a study from the University of Minnesota that suggested “the messy desk of geniuses is actually linked to their intelligence. If you don't spend much time cleaning and organizing everything around you, your mind is obviously occupied with more important stuff.”

2. If you're the oldest child, you could be more intelligent. 

The idea that birth order and IQ are connected has milled around academic communities for years, but Edinburgh University decided to get a first-hand look at this theory by studying 5,000 children from birth until they turned 14 and measuring their cognitive development in 2-year increments.

According to the Edinburgh University researchers, “all children received similar levels of emotional support from their parents – but first borns had more support with tasks which developed their thinking skills. Researchers say the findings could help to explain the so-called birth order effect when children born earlier in a family enjoy better wages and more education in later life.”

3. If you’re a night owl, that may be because you’re particularly bright.

Do you thrive during P.M. hours and resent waking up early for work purposes? That preference could relate to your intelligence level. The London School of Economics and Political Science studied the habits of those who tend to stay up late, and discovered that “people who tend to go to bed later have higher IQs.”

The researchers drew some interesting conclusions after this study, suggesting that “the root of why [some people like to stay up late] lies in our evolution—because nighttime was a more dangerous place, our ancestors who ventured into it instead of going to sleep needed to be more intelligent. Also, staying awake into the night was a new idea that was attractive to curious minds.”

4. If you're comfortable admitting what you don’t know, you probably know a lot.

People with particularly high IQs aren’t likely to be the same folks who constantly brag about the knowledge they have on any given topic. Instead, intelligent individuals can acknowledge what they don’t know and possess a strong interest in learning more.

A Business Insider story about the habits of intelligent people cited a study by researchers Justin Kruger and David Dunning, which discovered that “the less intelligent you are, the more you overestimate your cognitive abilities.”

In order to prove their point, Kruger and Dunning conducted an experiment on students who’d just taken the LSAT. According to Business Insider, “students who'd scored in the lowest quartile on a test adapted from the LSAT overestimated the number of questions they'd gotten right by nearly 50%. Meanwhile, those who'd scored in the top quartile slightly underestimated how many questions they'd gotten right.”